Homemade Pandesal

I grew up having free access to this delightful bread roll as it was made and available fresh from the oven twice daily from any corner bakery. The smell of freshly baked bread always enticed me, so I decided to replicate the aroma by making these prized rolls myself.

The recipe below is one modified from that I found at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pan-De-Sal-I/Detail.aspx but after a first attempt resulting in decent rolls but not exactly pandesal (more like monay putok, if anyone knows what I’m referring to), I realized that I did not take into account the different climate the recipe was probably from. The yeast packet said that bread will rise at a room temperature of 80 degrees F – a lot warmer than the current fall temperature of my kitchen. So after some taste and environmental factors, here is the lovely pandesal recipe that made us all happy today.

PANDESAL (Filipino bread rolls)
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 packet or 2.5 teaspoons (Fleishmann’s or other) active dry yeast
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  1. Put the warm water in a small mixing bowl and add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. To keep warm in cooler climates, place bowl on top of pot (or grill on top of pot) of hot water, but not submerged.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 15 teaspoons of sugar and the oil and mix until smooth. Add the salt, 1 cup of flour and the yeast mixture; stir well. Add the remaining 5 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, supple and elastic; about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume; about 1 hour. Keep bowl on top of pot with hot water for optimum rising.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into a cylinder bout 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Using a sharp knife, cut each ‘log’ into 1.5 inch pieces. Place the pieces, flat side down, onto two lightly greased baking sheets.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. In cooler temparatures, keep sheets warm by putting on top of pot with hot water.
  7. Top rolls with breadcrumbs before baking.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Best served with butter and/or cheese.


Mangia!

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